This delicious and simple to make Fruit Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy grapes, celery, chicken, mandarin oranges and tossed in an amazing lower calorie, creamy ranch dressing. (gluten and dairy-free options)
Author:The Saucy Fig
1 box shell pasta cooked and drained*
2 cups shredded chicken (I like to use about half of a rotisserie chicken)
2 cans of mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup diced celery
2 packages Buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1 cup low fat buttermilk (or cashew milk if making dairy free)
3/4 cup mayonaise
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a hand whisk or fork until smooth and incorporated. Cover and place in fridge to thicken.
Cook pasta shells according to instructions. Drain and place in a large bowl in the fridge to cool.
Dice celery, halve grapes and shred chicken. Add to the pasta in the large bowl.
Add the drained mandarin oranges to the bowl and pour dressing over the top.
With a large spoon, carefully mix the ingredients with the dressing without smashing the oranges.
Refrigerate leftovers. Keeps well for up to 3-4 days.
You can easily make this dish gluten and (mostly) dairy free by using gluten free noodles and your favorite dairy free milk alternative (I love cashew milk).
I say mostly dairy free because there’s a tiny amount of dairy in the buttermilk ranch packet mix. It’s less than 2% and doesn’t phase my husband who gets pretty sick with small amounts of dairy, but if you are allergic or can’t have even the smallest amount, this may not be the best for you.